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Child custody myths: Dispelling 3 common misconceptions

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Family Law

Divorce can be a tiring, contentious and confusing process. This often applies even more when there are minor children.

Even when proceedings are amicable and mutually agreed upon, making them smoother, it is easy to become mired in the many myths floating around about child custody.

1. Mothers have an automatic advantage

In the past, courts tended to favor mothers in child custody cases, but this is no longer the case. The court now recognizes the father and mother as on equal standing, and sex is not a determining factor. Instead, it assesses many criteria while making custody decisions.

2. A parent who is not the primary custody holder does not have to pay child support

Child support and child custody are completely separate from each other. Regardless of whether he or she has custody, the parent must pay the court-ordered support. Withholding support to force the custodial parent to allow the non-custodial parent to see his or her children is also illegal. Parents also do not have the right to deny the other parent their parenting time if he or she refuses to pay support.

3. Parents must use their visitation time

The court may grant a non-custodial parent partial custody or visitation, but it does not enforce it. Parents who choose simply not to use their awarded time are not committing a crime, and the court generally does not force them to see their children.

Child custody has a great deal of potential for complexity, leading to many common misconceptions. It is important to sift through them for the truth to avoid making poor decisions based on falsehoods.